Essential Elements of a Parkinson’s Care Plan

By , 9:00 am on

Parkinson’s disease can severely diminish quality of life, depending on the stage and extent of neurological damage. With good medical care and support at home, your senior loved one can better manage his or her challenges. The best care plans for those with Parkinson’s disease include a combination of medical, psychological, nutritional, and rehabilitative interventions.

Psychological Treatment

Parkinson’s disease not only causes mobility impairment and tremors, but it can also cause significant psychological problems, including anxiety, depression, and aggression. These issues can decrease quality of life. Many seniors with Parkinson’s disease who experience depression benefit from antidepressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs. Other types of antidepressant medications can also be added to the care plan. However, they may be more likely to cause side effects, such as constipation, low blood pressure, and cognitive impairment. 

Many seniors in the early stages of Parkinson’s are able to live on their own, but they may need a bit of help with everyday activities, such as exercising and preparing nutritious meals. Aging adults who require assistance with the tasks of daily living can benefit from reliable elder care. Families trust Home Care Assistance to provide the high-quality care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. Our caregivers are trained to help seniors prevent and manage serious illnesses and encourage them to make healthier decisions as they age.

Dopamine Agonists

Dopamine agonists are medications that stimulate the dopamine receptors in the brain. They can increase mobility and balance while reducing the incidence of dyskinesia, or involuntary movements. Dopamine agonists also possess neuroprotective properties and may allow for a reduction in the dosage of other Parkinson’s medications. While a beneficial component of a Parkinson’s disease care plan, dopamine agonists can cause adverse reactions, such as psychosis, hallucinations, and compulsive behavior.

Skilled Therapy

Skilled therapies such as speech, physical, and occupational therapy are also integral parts of a Parkinson’s care plan. These therapeutic interventions can prevent muscle spasms, increase balance, and alleviate speech problems and swallowing deficits. Parkinson’s is a progressive degenerative neurological disorder, and while skilled therapy services cannot cure or eliminate neurological symptoms, they may slow the progression of the disease. Your loved one can participate in a skilled therapy program at an outpatient facility, or if he or she is unable to leave the house, home therapy can be arranged.

Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Rowlett seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.

Deep Brain Stimulation

While drugs and skill therapy services are vital components of a Parkinson’s treatment plan, other therapies, such as deep brain stimulation, offer hope as well. During the deep brain stimulation procedure, the doctor makes an opening in the individual’s skull, and then a special electrode is implanted in the brain. The implanted electrode stimulates the brain to reduce the incidence and severity of abnormal or rigid movements. Not all seniors with Parkinson’s are candidates for deep brain stimulation. If your loved one responds well to medication, was diagnosed at a younger age, or has frequent episodes of abnormal movements, deep brain stimulation may be an appropriate treatment option. Criteria also include the ability to follow directions, because your loved one will need to be an active participant during the procedure. If your loved one hasn’t responded favorably to Parkinson’s medication or has dementia, deep brain stimulation may not appropriate. 

Caring for a loved one with Parkinson’s can be extremely challenging, and a compassionate professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of support. If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a Rowlett at-home care agency you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services. If your loved one needs assistance with the challenges of aging, reach out to one of our knowledgeable, compassionate Care Managers today at (972) 722-7833.